Shuffling Near the Top of Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Hannah Leubecker has three goals in three of Maryland's five games this spring.


For the first time since the preseason, there’s a significant shakeup near the top of the Nike/USA Lacrosse Magazine Division I Women’s Top 20.

Nos. 1 and 2 — Boston College and North Carolina, respectively — hold a firm grip on those spots. At this point, at least, it’s clear that those are the two most complete teams in the sport. But a new No. 3 has emerged in Maryland.

The Terps continued their strong start with big wins over Delaware and William & Mary. In their 5-0 start, the Terps have beaten Virginia and Florida — the latter of which was a thoroughly dominant 18-8 victory.

Even though the Wildcats were dominated by UNC 20-9 on Sunday, they beat former No. 3 Syracuse in a one-goal game earlier in the week and check in at No. 4. Syracuse is right behind them at No. 5, and Stony Brook is No. 6.

Elsewhere, two new teams join the fray and Notre Dame appears to be turning the corner.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOP 20

 
March 7, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

Boston College

6-0

1

3/9 at No. 11 Denver

2

North Carolina

6-0

2

3/11 vs. Mercer

3

Maryland

5-0

4

3/12 vs. Villanova

4

Northwestern

4-2

5

3/10 vs. No. 6 Stony Brook

5

Syracuse

5-1

3

3/12 at No. 15 Virginia

6

Stony Brook

2-1

6

3/10 at No. 4 Northwestern

7

Duke

6-1

7

3/10 vs. Pitt

8

Michigan

7-0

8

3/13 vs. No. 11 Denver

9

Loyola

4-0

9

3/9 at Georgetown

10

Princeton

3-0

10

3/8 at No. 17 USC

11

Denver

6-0

12

3/9 vs. No. 1 Boston College

12

Rutgers

6-0

14

3/9 at Temple

13

Notre Dame

2-4

20

3/10 at Virginia Tech

14

Florida

1-3

11

3/9 at Liberty

15

Virginia

3-4

13

3/9 vs. No. 16 Richmond

16

Richmond

5-0

17

3/9 at No. 15 Virginia

17

USC

3-0

18

3/8 vs. No. 10 Princeton

18

Jacksonville

3-2

19

3/13 vs. No. 13 Notre Dame

19

Colorado

5-0

NR

3/11 at No. 17 USC

20

Johns Hopkins

4-1

NR

3/10 at Navy

Also considered (alphabetical order): Drexel (3-2), James Madison (3-2), Navy (5-1), Temple (5-1), UConn (4-1), Vanderbilt (3-2)





z
Nike/USA Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

HOT

Notre Dame (+7)

The Irish snapped a four-game skid with a 12-10 win over Virginia, and even though they’re 2-4, the past two weeks have looked pretty good. Notre Dame dropped a 17-16 decision to Northwestern (which beat Syracuse) on February 23 and then an overtime game to Syracuse before beating the Cavaliers in South Bend.

Plus, what once looked like a major upset loss at the hands of Michigan is looking less and less like an outlier with each passing week, so there’s some course correction here, too.

Rutgers (+2)

The Scarlet Knights are 6-0 for the first time in their 46-year history, and last year’s strong performance is looking less fluky by the week. Rutgers’ schedule has yet to include a true juggernaut, but its upcoming opponents certainly up the ante. Temple, James Madison, Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Michigan are Rutgers’ remaining March opponents.

NOT

Florida (-3)

At 1-3, it’s tough to justify ranking Florida any higher. Each of the Gators’ losses came to teams ranked above them — North Carolina, Maryland and Stony Brook — but Florida has yet to put it together in the early going. The schedule doesn’t get much easier. After a March 9 trip to Liberty — which isn’t a pushover after beating Virginia Tech a few weeks ago — Florida takes on Loyola, Syracuse and Drexel by March 20.

Syracuse (-2)

The Orange fall in the Top 20 by virtue of losing to Northwestern. They nearly went 0-2 this week after Duke stormed out to a 9-2 first-quarter lead, by Kayla Treanor’s bunch came back for a thrilling 18-16 win behind 10 goals combined by Megan Carney and Meaghan Tyrrell. Syracuse’s last four games have been decided by a combined five goals.

IN

Colorado (No. 19)

On the outside looking in since the preseason, Colorado finally broke through last weekend with a win over former No. 16 Vanderbilt. Its overtime win over Louisville still looks good, and its February 20 win over Harvard now carries more weight after Harvard beat Penn on Saturday. A March 11 contest on the road against USC will paint a better picture of Colorado’s national standing.

Johns Hopkins (No. 20)

Both Johns Hopkins and Navy beat Drexel this week (more on the Dragons’ not-so-good week later), but the Blue Jays get the nod at No. 20 over the Mids. Both teams have one loss, but Hopkins’ loss to Loyola is less bad than Navy’s loss to Saint Joseph’s. Navy and Hopkins square off this Thursday at 4 p.m. Life has a funny way of working these things out.

OUT

Drexel (was No. 15)

It’s a five-spot fall for Drexel on the heels of an 0-2 week in which the Dragons were outscored 24-12 by two unranked teams. Granted, both teams have received consideration all year, so it’s not as if these losses came out of left field. Still, Drexel must turn it around Penn and Albany this week before hosting Florida on March 20.

Vanderbilt (was No. 16)

Another ranked team that went 0-2 this week, the Commodores lost to both Denver and Colorado. The upcoming slate doesn’t exactly bode well for Vanderbilt in terms of marquee wins that could propel the team back into the Top 20, but AAC matchups against Temple (April 2) and Florida (April 16) will carry significant weight.

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